At Monet Lounge in Providence earlier this week, the MARTINEZ BROTHERS dropped the strongest two-hour set this writer has yet seen from the Miami duo. Playing in tandem, as always, their mix and soundscapes seamlessly similar; the pair used a Traktor program, mixboard, and two CD players to overlay funky stuff on scrambles, to slice sampled talk and goofy girl vocals into the mix, and to stroke the low register frequencies in which the "deep house" genre delivers its seductions.
Their sound was a familiar one to fans but much more masterfully sculpted than what they were doing as recently as two years ago. Where many DJs have spent recent times adjusting their sound to chasing the bleached-out, fast-beats music of David Guetta and his ilk, the Martinez Brothers have moved their sound in the exact opposite direction. At Monet, playing such tracks as "The Causeway," "Debbie Downer," "Don't No Yet," and "Issshhh" (their current top download at Beatport), they worked mostly at 124 beats per minute -- funky stuff indeed -- featured many voice drops as gossipy as a reality show, and a bewildering provocation of scratchy, crumbly rhythms and shuffle -- mumble -- boom beats. The dancers loved it.
Cameras were everywhere, as these dedicated house music lovers renewed dance-floor friendships interrupted last year when Therapy, Providence's huge, after hours dance emporium, closed for good, taking with it the many A-list techno and "deep house" DJs who almost certainly would not have played Providence otherwise. Many ".:therapy" t-shirts were in evidence, and no mistake, that's because the Martinez Brothers played fade knob funk, rhythm symphonies in overlay mixes, a bit of scratch mix and repeat-knob jammering, and several delves into dirty talk. Nor was there even one pause -- so annoying in so many DJ sets -- in a set that sent a "you don't stop" message as classic as the very first rap records from whose slow-rhythm prowling "deep house" was in large part born.
Martinez Brothers, live in Miami, 2011: